Dream Encounters

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What did that dream mean that I had last night? Maybe nothing, or maybe something significant.
Here are some of my experiences on that mystical state between consciousness and the other dimension.

Submitted: August 29, 2016

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Submitted: August 29, 2016

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Dream Encounters

By Curtis Peter van Gorder

 

"For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceives it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man."—Job 33:14–17

 

Dreams can give us a seed of an idea or an inspiration. I have had some of these idea seeds throughout my life. A few times they have come very vividly, and I awoke excited about what I had seen or experienced in that other state. I have heard some people say of such special spiritual experiences that they feel a charge of electricity. When that happens to me I say, “I feel the ‘tingle!’” For me these dreams have yielded some intriguing short stories which have had much more interesting plots than I could ever have conceived.

 

At times a bridge is crossed between our conscious and subconscious through dreams. Last weekend I was at the mathematical and scientific museum in Dresden, Germany. I was interested in an interactive display about Pascal’s calculation machine, which is the forerunner of the computer.

 

A student who specializes in museum media approached me and asked me to fill in a survey. We soon got into a lively discussion about Pascal based on some of the quotes I had read from him, such as, “Miracles are the lightning strokes of God!” I was able to use this opportune time to share my faith with him. I mentioned to him Pascal’s Wager, which is an interesting mathematical approach to faith. To sum it up: Either there is God or there isn’t. If there isn’t a God and you are an atheist, you have lost nothing as there is nothing to lose. If, however, there is a God and you don’t believe in Him, you will be regretting your decision for eternity. If you were a gambler, there would be no question what you would do—put your chips on the Lord.

 

To quote the source:

 

“If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists.”—Blaise Pascal1

 

The conversation soon turned to a dream that I’d had concerning Pascal some years ago. Out of the blue, he asked me if I had ever written it down. I was surprised he had asked me this, as it is one of the few significant experiences that I’ve never written down. His question is the reason I am writing this piece today.

 

At the time of the dream I was a teacher for older children at an international school in Japan. We were doing a science show and I was thinking a lot about the subject of science. I happened to come across a book from Pascal called Pensées (Thoughts) which was a collection of his thoughts published posthumously. I had lost the book on a bus and was unable to find it again.

 

I had to wake up early one morning at 4:00 for an important appointment. Before going to bed, I prayed that I would wake up on time, as we had no alarm clock. That night I had a dream that someone came to me and said, “Pascal is downstairs and he wants to meet you.” Honored at the opportunity to meet this famous scientist who was one of the fathers of the computer, I quickly dropped what I was doing and rushed downstairs. When I got there, someone said, “Oh, sorry, he just left. He said he had to catch a bus.” I ran out of the house hoping to find him. I got to the bus stop only to see Pascal waving at me through the rearview window of the bus.

 

The surprise of it all woke me up, and I looked at my watch, which read 4:00. Was this dream a wake-up call from the Lord? It seems like a small thing, but to me it was significant that the Lord would help me in this detail of my life.

 

Dreams can at times lead and guide us or confirm a job we need to do. Johnny, a Thai friend of mine, related a dream that he recently had, saying: “A large black tsunami was coming directly toward me. On its waves were bits of broken wood. The wave abruptly stopped right in front of me and didn’t harm me.”

 

Shortly after that, a refugee camp was established a few hundred meters away from his house. He felt the meaning was that the tsunami symbolized the wave of refugees whose lives had been broken, like those pieces of wood, and had now come so close to home. Johnny volunteered at the camp to serve food and to pray with those who needed it.

 

The dream soon took on more significance. He told me, “I was talking with a volunteer who works with me at the camp. When I asked her what made her volunteer for the camp, she told me of a dream she’d had; it was the same dream that I had about the tsunami, but in her dream there was a wall of music that stopped the wave.” Could God have been directing these two different people to do a job that He wanted done?

 

There are many examples in the Bible—such as the dream that the wise men had, directing them to go another way back home to avoid King Herod, and the dream to Joseph to marry Mary. If God did it then, we can safely assume that He can do it today if He wants.

 

This is not to say that all dreams are revelatory or have great significance. Some can possibly just be our subconscious working for us to clear up the clutter of the day and start with a clean slate the next morning. As the Bible says, sometimes “a dream comes from the multitude of business.”2

 

Yet, God can definitely use dreams to get our attention, to lead and guide us, and to inspire us to do the right thing. It is one more tool that He has given us that can sometimes be just what we need.

 

“I am like one, who sees in dream, and when the dream is gone an impression, set there, remains, but nothing else comes to mind again, since my vision almost entirely fails me, but the sweetness, born from it, still distils, inside my heart.

 

“O Supreme Light, who lifts so far above mortal thought, lend to my mind again a little of what you seemed then, and give my tongue such power, that it might leave even a single spark of your glory, to those to come: since by returning to my memory, in part, and by sounding in these verses, more of your triumph can be conceived.”—Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

 

 

 

 

1 Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/blaise_pascal.html.

 

 

2 Ecclesiastes 5:3.


© Copyright 2017 curtis peter van gorder. All rights reserved.

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